24 hours have passed since I posted about the kidnapping, torture and ultimate murder of Ilan Halimi and told you that I would post something about him every day until the 13 February, the date in 2006 on which he died after 3 weeks of torture. I try this to see if it can give us a sense of the long long long days and weeks Ilan was held and tortured by the muslim gang "Le Gang de Barbares".
|Gang leader Youssouf Fofana|
The bait they used to catch Ilan was described later by a colleague of Ilan like so: "Look north-african, around 20, clear skin, a pleasant face, long brown hair with a few highlights...".
She was actually only 16 at the time of the crime, her name was Yalda and she had tried to seduce some colleagues of Ilan before settling on him.
Today I bring you some excerpts fom an article by Deborah Freund in Aish.com who interviewed the mother of Ilan:
"January 20, 2006
It’s a regular Friday, and I’m on my way home from work. Passing by a store I see a pair of shoes in a style that I know Ilan would like, with a buckle. I stop to purchase them. They are final sale, neither exchangeable nor refundable. I then do some shopping for our Shabbat meal. Even though I am not Orthodox, the Shabbat meal is something I will not give up for any price. It’s the only time of the week we get to all sit peacefully around a beautifully set table. When I reach our building I glance up to see if Ilan is at the window. He usually he looks out for me and runs down the stairs to help me bring up the packages. Ilan sings the Kiddush. My children were bought up in the Jewish tradition and know all the Jewish prayers. After we wash, Ilan cuts the challah and distributes it. We wish each other Shabbat Shalom. Dinner is over by 9:00 p.m.
A while later I hear Ilan answering the telephone in his room. I will later learn that that was the fateful call from his new acquaintance inviting him out. I see him putting on his windbreaker. I don’t like it when he goes out on Shabbat and he knows it. “Don’t be angry, Maman,” he says, an apologetic smile playing on his lips. As if having a premonition that this would be the last time I would ever see him, I try to keep him from leaving. “You didn’t try on your new shoes,” I remind him. He gives me a hug. “Tomorrow,” he says, and clatters down the stairs.
The shoes are still lying untouched in their box.
The nightmare starts the following day when we realize that Ilan hasn’t come home. None of his friends have heard from him either. I’m reading a story to Noa, my granddaughter, when I hear my daughters’ piercing screams in the next room. They’re looking at a photo of Ilan on the computer screen that has just been sent by email. My son’s face is covered with black tape, and there’s a pistol pointed at his temple. “We are holding Ilan,” the email reads. “We are demanding 450,000 euros for his release.”
A phone call ensues. A young man speaking French with a heavy African accent says, “You have 20 minutes to bring the money. If you contact the police, we will kill him.” My two daughters, each holding one of my hands, drag me down the stairs to the police station. Didier, Ilan’s father, is already there, having received the same phone call.
The police try to figure out why Ilan was targeted. None of us can pay the sum of 450,000 euros. I’m a secretary. Ilan earns 1,200 euro a month. His father doesn’t have any money either. Our profile certainly doesn’t mark us as a target for kidnappers....."